The Romanian Courier and Postal Services Forum organised by Govnet invited C-suite industry leaders to a diverse agenda of panel discussions, key note speeches and networking sessions. The conference atmosphere reflected an indisputable enthusiasm for innovative lastmile solutions, as the local market keeps growing in double digits, and both B2C and B2B parcel volumes have reached an unprecedented level (30% YoY ecommerce growth).
The first half of the day included a panel of 7 speakers, and was structured around 3 key topics: Demand, Offer and Service quality:
Lucian Aldescu, Industry Expert and Ex-DPD Romania CEO, gave his view on the demand side and market place, confirming double-digit growth of B2C, online and marketplaces. With consumer expectations rising in terms of service quality, next-day delivery is growing fast as the minimum standard, but customers show high price sensibility at the same time. Adrian Mihai, Managing Partner of FAN Courier, explained how increasing fuel prices, salary expectations, but also regulatory changes are increasing complexity to guarantee a sustainable logistics offer. One big challenge in Romania remains the infrastructure, which struggles to cope with current growth levels in view of car traffic and road congestion. But also poor addressing systems (i.e. missing postcodes, particularly in rural areas), and a lack of industry standardisation (i.e. free text fields as opposed to verified addressing forms are broadly used on the online retaile side). To ensure an improvement in service quality, all panellist presented multiple ways of how they invested in solutions to meet customer expectations. From parcel shops to lockers and the deployment of AI in fleet management and customer service. Despite the growth in ecommerce, the level of trust amongst customers towards ecommerce retailers is still fairly low, which is why COD (cash on delivery) remains a major delivery option, which complicates the last-mile and impacts negatively on the service quality.
The second part centred around solutions with keynote sessions from Posttag's CEO Paul Yewman, On the Dot's Head of Client Partnerships Eduard Lazar, and of course Parcelly, with Sebastian's session on ‘Digitalisation and Last-mile Logistics – Where we are and what is next'. In another panel session, representatives from Honeywell, Bringo Delivery, SYSTEC Group, Flanco Retail, ARMO and Glovo, discussed operational challenges in the market, how to tackle these, as well as future growth potential and emerging trends.
FAVOURITE QUOTES OF THE DAY
Adrian Mihai, Managing Partner of FAN Courier: "Time is money: with Bucharest as one of the busiest city in Europe in terms of traffic - infrastructure requires improvements to compete with the delivery rate and costs in other countries.”
Cristi Petcu, General Manager at Pink Post: “Service quality in Romania is still a challenge, the addressing for example is very poor, particularly in rural areas and is one of the biggest problems to guarantee a certain level of quality.”
Lucian Aldescu, Industry Expert : "With solution providers and services growing in our region, Romania is today part of the international last mile battle.”
"What the courier market requires in Romania, is to drive digitalisation and invest into innovation and technologies." Adrian Mihai, Managing Partner of FAN Courier
SUMMARY OF THE DAY
In line with it’s European peers and driven by digitalisation and the growing consumer expectations, Romania’s ecommerce and logistics environment is changing. With large investments into innovation and technology, the market however seems to struggle particularly with infrastructural and systemic constraints, which seem to require bold political support. The smart deployment and implementation of selected technologies has allowed to overcome many of these constraints, however, Romania’s courier and postal companies agreed that the industry requires continuous investment into innovation and technology.